Land Use Development Playbook to Outline Guidelines to Improve Planning, Zoning and Public Review; Municipality Recognition Program to Celebrate Best Practices and Successes on a Local Level
White Plains, NY [February 13, 2018] – In an effort to spur economic development throughout the region, the Westchester County Association (WCA) – Westchester’s leading economic development and business advocacy organization – today launched an initiative with Pace University’s Land Use Law Center to design, validate and deploy land use policies and strategies to streamline and improve the planning, zoning and approval processes across municipalities in the county.
“We consider the Land Use Development Playbook the framework for future municipal planning and zoning in all of Westchester,” said William M. Mooney, president and CEO of the Westchester County Association. “There’s nothing like it anywhere in the county now, which is why we, with our partners in the private and public sector, are taking the lead in producing it.”
Through its Real Estate and Housing Task Force, the WCA has already gained invaluable input from hundreds of stakeholders, including real estate professionals, municipal officials, developers, architects, engineers, bankers, brokers, consultants and planners.
“Streamlining real estate development processes is critical to driving the delivery of much needed transit-oriented, mixed-used and multi-family housing development. We need to accelerate the delivery of vibrant downtown environments sought by millennials, working families and seniors,” said William V. Cuddy, Executive Vice President at CBRE and Chair of WCA’s Smart Growth Initiative. “Being minutes and miles north of the country’s largest city, we have a huge opportunity to capture that market, particularly young families looking for more space and empty nesters looking for less. This initiative will help remove obstacles to growth that perpetuate uncertainty in the market, allowing the county to capitalize on its proximity to New York City and helping to add and retain local talent for generations to come. This will be an economic development catalyst.”
In addition to creating efficiencies within review and approval processes, the Playbook will include strategies and best practices uniquely adaptable to Westchester’s cities, towns and villages while respecting home rule. This first-of-its-kind partnership also will establish a recognition program to identify and promote municipalities which have adopted the Playbook’s recommendations. The Recognition Program can provide valuable marketing and PR opportunities for communities that are “open for business.”
“Westchester’s municipalities are innovative and committed to benefiting from the burgeoning real estate market. Municipal leaders are interested in learning from one another’s successes, which this project will foster through education and exposure. Working with private sector leaders and to highlight best practices, we hope to enable municipal leaders to accomplish their citizens’ visions for the future, strengthen their tax bases, promote employment, and enhance affordability,” said Jessica Bacher, Executive Director of Pace University’s Land Use Law Center.
The WCA and the Land Use Law Center will publicly launch the Playbook at its second Annual Real Estate Summit on May 22, 2018.
About The Westchester County Association
The Westchester County Association (www.westchester.org) is the preeminent business leadership organization serving Westchester County and the region. The Association is committed to Smart Growth, business advocacy and economic vitality, and to providing a strong and clear voice for the interests of business. Its key objectives are to promote positive economic development in the region; foster business development; and provide its members with access to and interaction with key public and private sector individuals, agencies and organizations.